2017: The Year Shoes Were all the Talk of Litigation

Shoes were hitting the legal dockets in numbers and mainly for Trademark reasons.  Some examples of cases where shoes became courtroom drama will be discussed in this post.  Let’s now look to see just who walked all over who:  

  1.  Shoes and branding became a reason to sue on the grounds of Racial Discrimination

An employee at a boutique shoe outlet called a tennis star to her face “disgusting,” and refused to give the similar rate of discount that was offered to white celebrities.  The suit has moved forward with the shoe store not even have conducted an investigation and have not received a courtesy of a reply yet.  They allege that the claim is possibly baseless.  Still, the treatment received was based off the purchase of shoes and discrimination received as a result.

  1. Being the daughter of a President does not give immunity to suit when a designer alleges Trademark Infringement against you when you design shoes

A designer whose label came to an end agreed to finally withdraw a case.  The case had seen the first daughter’s company accusing her of copying a fringe sandal and a pump in her line of footwear.  The court date was set for March 2018 and the Judge ruled that testimony would be required.  Perhaps the added pressure of that pushed a momentum towards the case being amicably settled or withdrawn.  The battle lasted a year for whatever that was worth.  Settling is much more suitable when you do not wish to face backlash and especially when you are at the forefront of American politics.

  1. When shoe sponsorship became corrupt and fraudulent

A director of a top sporting company and four assistant basketball coaches were arrested for fraud, bribery, and corruption and has been investigated since 2015.  The basis was that money was being funnelled towards bribe payments to players and their families so that they attend universities sponsored by their company rather than those that were not.

  1. A Conviction was Overturned for the Widow of a Podiatrist who founded shoes that were innovative as they were grounded in the scientific principles of lower-limb biomechanics

A Bahamian Court had initially found the wife of the shoe founder guilty of her husband’s “stabbing death.” She was initially sentenced to twenty years in prison time that was later overturned and she has since been granted bail at $250,000.

  1. Two Shoe competitors had a Patent in Jeopardy

A shoe design similar to the generic clogs was claimed to be as an unoriginal and the USPTO issued a final rejection that had made one of the companies a name.  Alleged hacking, spying and copy of design were all amongst the items that were listed in the complaint.  The design was deemed to be one that has been around for sometime and was one of the factors in the dismissal of the suit.

  1. Signature lace-ups in question

A successful fashion label had a suit filed with accusations of trademark infringement accusing a copy of its laceup.  The suit basically alleged the design was a knockoff of one of their designs and that this occurred after they attempted to make inquiries into their brand.

http://footwearnews.com/2017/business/retail/lawsuits-legal-scandal-fashion-shoes-footwear-industry-468353/Super Lawyers named Illinois commercial law trial attorney Peter Lubin a Super Lawyer and Illinois business dispute attorneys Patrick Austermuehle and Andrew Murphy Rising Stars in the Categories of Class Action, Business Litigation, and Consumer Rights Litigation. Lubin Austermuehle’s Illinois business trial lawyers have over thirty years of experience in litigating complex class action, copyright, noncompete agreement, trademark and libel suits, consumer rights and many different types of business and commercial litigation disputes.  Our Waukegan and Deerfield business dispute lawyers, civil litigation lawyers and copyright attorneys handle emergency business lawsuits involving copyrights, trademarks, injunctions, and TROS, covenant not to compete, franchise, distributor and dealer wrongful termination and trade secret lawsuits and many different kinds of business disputes involving shareholders, partnerships, closely held businesses and employee breaches of fiduciary duty. We also assist businesses and business owners who are victims of fraud. You can contact us by calling at 630-333-0333.  You can also contact us online here.

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